One of the most loaded weekends with Long distance triathlon races of the season! A weekend in which our athletes raced in LD triathlons in France, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands, US and Australia!
Important weekend also for a couple of our athletes with a World championships dream!
The first to hit the water this weekend was Javier (Colombia), putting huge steps past winter and working very accurate it was clear he was ready to do a personal very good race! There was a Kona dream (haven’t almost all LD triathletes have this…) but also realism. Doing a good race, and see what happens!
A very good swim made him step on the bike after 1h01′! On that bike Javier felt good! Living very high in Bogota, Colombia racing low should do good and it was! During training this sometimes is tough, but if there’s a positive effect on raceday…it’s very much a positive point!
This good swim combined with a fast and very well paced bike made Javier come off the bike within top 10. As Cairns is a continental championship…more slots are to be taken! Top 10 would be a certitude!
On the run course Javier had previous bad experiences in IM and wasn’t planning to have this in Cairns! We paced HR wise, which worked out perfectly. The only focus was the focus on himself and a possible place close to IM WC qualification!
Doing a good run and being able to keep the pace in it untill the finishline, temperatures above and around 30°C. In Ironman an athletes must keep going, because the end of the race can be astonishing in all ways. 12th place for Javier and a couple of hours of waiting for the final salvation!
Kona qualification was a fact! The day started perfect!
At the moment Javier’s race finished…our athletes in Ironman70.3 Staffordshire, UK hit the water. Not the best racing conditions, which made it a hard race! Both Hannah and Dave are in shape! Hannah could manage some very nice results in Elite cycling races and triathlons earlier this season, Dave prooved himself in his previous 2 triathlons.
A very big step forward was made this year. Balance in training is key, if the balance is not there an athlete falls back to underperformance. Always.
Both athletes moved up well during the bikecourse to put down the bike in a position that would be very close to Ironman 70.3 WC qualifcation in Nice, France. And that’s also what happened!
Hannah kept her place within top 10 during the run course and finishes 8th! Dave from his side manages to finish 15th after a stunning race, perfectly paced and strong untill the finishline!
For both good enough to qualify for their first Ironman 70.3 world championships!
A dream coming true!
3 world championships qualifiers on 1 day already? I was not dreaming!
In the Netherlands, 70.3 racing in Terheijden! Tony is in his last trainingperiod towards Ironman Vitoria-Gasteiz (Spain), this race would a last test and part of optimalization for him! Tony his weakest spot (if we may say this) is swimming, in Terheijden athletes have to swim 2500m instead of 1900m…perfect in full prep towards his IM.
Tony swam well, and this small ‘recovery’ week dit very well in his current shape! On the bike Tony paces at 320NP within HRzones and puts down the bike at exactly 320NP!
Tony, last year running a very strong marathon off the bike in Kona never disappoints when it comes down to racing!
A very tough challenger when you meet him in the end of the race!Running his half marathon at 3’50/km he keeps moving up untill the finishline and takes 3rd!
In Terheijden also MC takes 6th in the female race, which is very good in her first ever 70.3 race!
Our athletes were also involved in 70.3 races in Bonn (Germany), Obernai (France) and Herning (Denmark)!
In Herning the athletes had to conquer cold conditions, rain and wind in the face for the first 50K which made several athletes go into hypothermia!
But also racing in Belgium (1/4distance Beernem). Alex and Dimi both are in great shape and probably their best shape ever! 2 big boys who get faster and stronger by their age. ON this part they had a perfect example in Beernem…with Steven finishing 2nd (40+) in the masters race!
And then, late in the afternoon (European Time) our athletes in Boulder, USA were on for a tough race!
Watertemperature was quite cold but above all altitude was heavy the first days after arrival! Racing at 1600m above sea level is not for everyone. During their first sessions in Boulder their body clearly needed to adapt.
Fortunately Cai, Sam and Vadim had a good preparation trainingwise but also altitude wise with periods of training high or sleeping high! The body surely adapted to racing conditions approaching raceday!
In contradiction to previous years where very hot temperatures were measured in Boulder today’s race would be very cold. With temperatures below 10°C. Which is cold for triathlon!
Fortunately our athletes could directly warm up on the bike, hitting the watts and going in search of the front of their AG!
For Vadim, coming out 6th in AG45 pole position was visible very soon in the race! Sam from his side had a 10′ gap on the leader and Cai got on her bike with the same gap!
Once on the bike endurance, strength and globale shape becomes the most important issue! Our athletes moved up quite fast!
Vadim got company from Swiss Mike Schifferle (Pro untill 2018), with his registration for the race…only 2slots would be divided between the rest of the athletes! Vadim and Schifferle in the lead, up to the opponents to chase them down. But these positions were held untill T2!
Vadim was in 2nd, but had chasing athletes close to him before the start of the marathon! With one of the fastest AG bikesplits and faster than a few Pro’s this 46year old Canadian prooved he was ready for a big effort!
Sam was aiming for a ride at 250-260NP , not overdoing it to save energy for the tough run course following! Very soon Sam took his place in the top 5 of his AG, once the athletes passed halfway the bikecourse Sam takes the lead and takes a massive advantage of 15′ when he enters T2!
His bikesplit was good for the 10th overall bikesplit, Pro field included!
Without problems Sam was ready to take his slot and qualify for the 10th time for the Ironman World Champs!
On the bike Cai also did great, the bike discipline is definitely her strongest discipline and it made her move up towards 3rd position! In the first half of the race a couple of othere athletes sticked around her but once got further in the race her advantage on 4th and 5th place become bigger! Big enough to come off the bike with podium ambitions!
3 athletes on the podium at the end of the race? It became a possibility…and this ‘crazy’ weekend definitely gave confidence that all is possible!
Sam moved up very strongly on the runcourse, the further the run was the more advantage he took in his AG…but he also moved up towards the Pro athletes and a very good overall position was in it!
The runcourse was tough, over 300D+ and a lot of turning combined with altitude didn’t make it an easy job. But he manages to become 14th overall and win his AG by far! Kona qualification was a fact! Packing and flying to Kona for the 10th time in October! When all goes as planned…things seem easy! But things aren’t always as they look like!
For Sam also a preparation is full of ups and downs, being capable of dealing with small setbacks is what makes the difference between winners and losers…
For Vadim Schifferle (fastest AG athlete – 13th overall) was out of reach from the beginning of the run course, focus on keepin his top3 spot and Kona qualification! Only 3 slots, so no mistakes to be made!
Vadim ran very constantly in the first half of the marathon! But then slowly HR dropped. Not a lot, but by small %. This definitely was caused by his first 40km on the bike, in which he kept a pace slightly to high.
This always comes back to an athlete at a certain point! But, fortunately we are talking about little% and shape, endurance and strength was at 100% before the race. Vadim never dropped a lot of pace keeps fighting untill the finishline, being passed by 1 athlete in the very end he takes podium, 3rd!!
What a day! 3athletes qualified for Kona, 2 athletes qualified for Nice…on 1 day! At this point we passed midnight…so maybe I do was dreaming??!
Unfortunately for our sleepquality Cai was in a very close battle for the podium ànd for a slot! Putting down the bike in 3rd position with quite a gap in front of her. Focussing on her own race and not trying to close a 15′ gap was the best she could do! Behind her, a fast running athlete was coming step by step! With only 2,5km to go her advantage dropped to only 1′. Fortunately Sam already recovered a bit and ecouraged her to keep going strong! With success…taking 3rd place and making the race complete!
unfortunately only 1slot in this AG which means no qualification but marvellous performance…her name needs to be changed to Le’Suffer’!
All 3 athletes on the podium in Boulder, this clearly lead to a party
This weekend also means that in Kona we will have ‘thé’ AG squad in the world ready to roll!
Qualifiers for the Ironman World Champs, Hawaii so far:
* Pirmin Christen (Switzerland)
*Alejandro Casado (Spain)
*Javier Cepeda (Colombia)
*Vadim Suraev (Canada)
*Sam Gydé (Belgium)
Working with athletes all around the world remains an eye opener, an experience that’s very unique in the world. Our approach towards training, vision and communication is key! Thanks for all these athletes to give the best of themselves…as we give the best from ourselves!
Straight forward and no-nonsense, at your service!